UPDATE: OK, so things are getting even weirder. Perez left the ballpark without speaking to reporters, choosing instead to yell from his car: “I’m not saying anything.”
UPDATE #2: No official statement from the Indians yet, but Perez is apparently injured.
UPDATE #3: Perez has been diagnosed with a strained right shoulder and will be shut down from all throwing for 7-10 days. He’s expected to miss 3-4 weeks, which means he won’t pitch in the World Baseball Classic and may not be ready for Opening Day. As for why Perez and the Indians handled the whole situation so oddly … who knows.
Something is up with Indians closer Chris Perez.
He was supposed to make an appearance in today’s game, but those plans were canceled and Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that manager Terry Francona was “mysterious” when asked about it by the media.
Francona said the team would have more information tomorrow, which is pretty odd in itself considering teams almost always give at least an initial update on injuries, and the Indians later made a statement saying only: “We’re working through some things with him.”
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.